Tyler Matthew Beacham, 26, of Ballarat, had never been in prison before, but believed a period of incarceration would help him recover from drug addiction.

The former Aldi supermarket worker, who had also worked as a chef, faced the Victorian County Court yesterday.

He had been in custody for 310 days and was yesterday sentenced to one year in jail (including time served), and an additional community correction order of 18 months.

The court heard that on December 20 last year, he went to the BP service station on Eaglehawk Road in Long Gully about 9pm.

He fuelled the car he had arrived in and entered the service station. He went to a fridge to collect two bottles of Coke and was visibly agitated as he went to the counter.

There was only one other person inside the service station at the time. Beacham placed the soft drink bottles on the counter and the service station attendant asked if that was all he would be paying for.

Beacham then brandished a large kitchen knife and demanded the attendant handover “whatever (was) in the till” and left the scene.

The worker gave him about $200 which was still in Beacham’s possession when he was arrested.

Beacham pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery, failing an oral fluid test, and failing to stop a vehicle after an accident.

Victorian County Court Judge Pardeep Tiwana said Beacham was entitled to a discount on his sentence for co-operating with police, pleading guilty at the earliest possible opportunity and for expressing remorse.

He said if Beacham had denied the charges and been convicted he would have been sentenced to two years in jail, with a non-parole period of 18 months.

Mr Tiwana said Beacham had told arresting police he was worried the victim might be traumatised by the event. He said Beacham had abstained from drugs in prison.

“There’s a real sense of optimism for your future but it’s in your hands,” he said.

Mr Tiwana said he would provide judicial oversight of Beacham’s community correction order and expected it to go well.

“You must undergo treatment and testing for drug abuse as directed,” the judge said. “You must undertake programs related to the causes of your offending. You will be monitored. I will see you and monitor your progress.”

Mr Tiwana said Beacham would come before him again on February 25, 2022.

“I will be provided a report from Community Corrections and I expect that report to be positive,” he said.

Extracted in full from: Prison detox: Ballarat armed robber seeking jail rehab held up Long Gully service station | Bendigo Advertiser | Bendigo, VIC